Moving overseas is a daunting yet exciting endeavor that will give you the opportunity to see and experience something completely new in an intimate way. While moving abroad may be a great decision for your career, your family, or your spirit of adventure, it can be a bit hard on the wallet.
There are all kinds of expenses, from packing, to shipping your belongings, to putting down a rental deposit or down payment on a house, and buying a car. Fortunately, there are some common-sense ways to ease the cost of your NYC international moving expenses so that you will have a little money left in your pocket for exploring your hometown.
Don’t purchase boxes.
Brand-new boxes are pricey, especially when you consider that you can get them for free if you know where to look. First, ask friends and neighbors ahead of time to save their Amazon boxes for you. These tend to come in all shapes and sizes, so they are good for odds and ends. Second, grocery stores, restaurants and clothing stores are constantly getting boxes that end up in trash heaps. Contact your local store to see when the best day to collect boxes might be.
Research the availability and cost of goods in your new city or town.
In many parts of the world, homes are sold and rented unfurnished, and do not come with appliances. In some areas, home furnishings, electronics and appliances are inexpensive and easy to come by. In others, it can be difficult to find the items you’re looking for. In addition, delivery may be painfully slow, or items may cost several times what they would cost in the United States. Knowing what to expect will make it easier to plan a cost-effective strategy for getting what you need.
Sort your current things carefully.
Armed with the knowledge of what items cost and how available they are in your new location, you can judiciously decide what you will take with you and what you will leave behind. Remember, the more things you ship or store, the more money you will spend. Go through everything with a truly objective eye. Throw out anything that has outlived its usefulness, and sell as many items as you can reasonably part with. Craigslist is one option; a garage sale is another. Donate anything that isn’t sold to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army. The goal is to ship just what you will need with you, and store as few items as possible.
Remember to consider how much space you will have in your new home. Many homes overseas are small compared to U.S. standards, so even if you find that it is cost-effective to ship your dining and living room set, you may not need to bring every lamp, end table and bookshelf. It will be harder to get rid of anything that doesn’t fit in your place when you get to your destination than it would be stateside.
Consider all of your shipping options.
- Sharing a container. If you do not have enough items to fill an entire container yourself, this can be a good option.
- Pricing different shipping companies. Some offer better value than others for the services they offer.
- Disassembling all of your items. Space in containers is sold by cubic foot, so the more compact you can make everything, the better. Remember to label all of your screws, nuts and bolts carefully!
- Forgoing door-to-door service. Arrange for less expensive depot to shipside or depot to depot service. It requires more legwork, but the savings may be worth it.
- Choosing a less expensive insurance option. If you like your stuff, but not so much that you feel the need to insure every aspect of it, get total loss insurance rather than all risk insurance.
Einat Mazafi is the owner of NY International Shipping, an International Shipping and moving company based in New York. She is also a specialist in providing the best relocation solutions to clients worldwide.